Frank Zappa: Waka/Jawaka – Hot Rats

By Mike Jahn

High Fidelity, December 1972

FRANK ZAPPA: Waka/Jawaka – Hot Rats.
Frank Zappa, guitar and percussion; vocal and instrumental accompaniment. Big Swifty; Your Mouth; It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal; Waka / Jawaka. Bizarre/Reprise MS 2094, $5.98.

This is Zappa's "serious" music as opposed to the satirical rock he writes as leader of the Mothers of Invention. It is a follow-up to "Hot Rats," an LP that introduced his brand of avant-garde jazz-rock to the world two years ago.

This LP is magnificent, a true gem. Zappa succeeds where 2,001 jazz groups fail because his roots are in corny old rock-and-roll, which means that he never gets so serious that he won't drop a romantic melody into the most avant-garde, flat composition. Big Swifty and Waka/Jawaka are fine exponents of this. The latter goes from rock to aggressive jazz to something that sounds like Herb Alpert and the Marijuana Brass. Two vocal compositions prove little, being thrown in "for comic relief." but don't spoil the album. Highly recommended.

Read by OCR software. If you spot errors, let me know afka (at)